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Trade Secrets


A trade secret is any confidential business information that provides a competitive edge. Trade secrets encompass formulas, patterns, physical devices, ideas, processes, sales methods, distribution methods, consumer profiles, advertising strategies, lists of suppliers and clients, or compilations of information.  They can be found in manufacturing, industrial secrets and commercial settings. The unauthorized use of such information by persons other than the holder is regarded as an unfair practice and a violation of the trade secret. Depending on the legal system, the protection of trade secrets forms part of the general concept of protection against unfair competition or is based on specific provisions or case law on the protection of confidential information.  Finally, while a final determination of what information constitutes a trade secret will depend on the circumstances of each individual case, clearly unfair practices in respect of secret information include industrial or commercial espionage, breach of contract and breach of confidence.

The attorneys at Rice are experienced in advising on the manner and methods to protect trade secrets as well the enforcement of the improper use or theft of trade secrets.

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